Politics and the History of Cuba

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Cuba is an island country in the Caribbean, 90 miles south of the Florida Coast. It has had a contentious and violent history since it was claimed by Spain in 1492, but now has a 99.8% literacy rate, an infant death rate lower than many developed countries and an average life expectancy of almost 78 years (CIA, 2012). In 1959, Fidel Castro led a successful revolution and deposed Fugelico Batista, who fled to exile in Portugal. This had quite an effect on American foreign and economic policy because up until Castro, America owned all of Cuba's oil production, 90% of its mines, and 50% of its cattle, sugar and railroad industries. The capital city, Havana, was a tourist destination for Americans, and the U.S. Mafia shared power with Batista by controlling the islands drug trade, prostitution and gambling industries. This economic disparity continued to enrich many Americans and a few Cuban business owners, but resulted in a huge gap between rich and poor, lack of social services, and a crumbling infrastructure on the Island. The United States was initially enamored with Castro, calling him a "freedom fighter." However, once Castro seized all the land and removed American owners, America began to believe that this model would become the rule in other Latin American Countries. The United States withdrew economic aid to the island, causing Castro to sell sugar to the Soviets and to nationalize all American enterprises in Cuba. In 1960, the U.S. formally severed diplomatic
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